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NASA

Low Quality Alloy Cause of Shuttle Main Tank Issue 118

BJ_Covert_Action writes "NASA engineers have finally discovered the root cause of the cracks that have been found on space shuttle Discovery's main external tank. The main tank, one of the 'Super Lightweight Tank' models developed by Lockheed-Martin, employs an aluminum-lithium alloy developed by Lockheed-Martin specifically for this application. The new alloy is used in various structural stringers throughout the SLWT design. Unfortunately, the batch of this alloy used in the tank that is currently mated with the Discovery shuttle appears to be of low quality. The alloy used in the stringers has a 'mottled' appearance, compared to the nominal appearance typically used in the main tank stringers (see picture in article). This appearance is indicative of a fracture threshold that is significantly lower than typical. NASA has determined, through testing, that this low grade alloy has only 65% of the fracture strength of the nominal alloy typically used. NASA engineers have devised a potential fix to the problem that they are currently testing to ensure the repair will cause no unintended consequences. NASA plans to have the Discovery shuttle ready to launch again by February 24th, 2011."
Games

Capcom 'Saddened' By Game Plagiarism Controversy 163

Capcom's recent release of action platformer Maxsplosion for the iPhone caused indie developer Twisted Pixel to call Capcom out for copying the concept from their successful Xbox Live game 'Splosion Man. Twisted Pixel said they had no plans for legal action, since they were "too small to take on a company like Capcom." The indie studio had even pitched the game to Capcom for publishing at one point, but were declined. Now, Capcom has released a statement denying that Maxsplosion's development team had any knowledge of the meetings and saying, "MaXplosion was developed independently by Capcom Mobile. Nonetheless, we are saddened by this situation and hope to rebuild the trust of our fans and friends in the gaming community."
Image

Julian Assange's Online Dating Profile Leaked Screenshot-sm 334

Ponca City writes "The Telegraph reports that an online dating profile created by Julian Assange in 2006 has been unearthed from OKCupid disclosing that the WikiLeaks editor sought 'spirited, erotic' women 'from countries that have sustained political turmoil.' Writing under the pseudonym of British science fiction author Harry Harrison, Assange described himself as a 'passionate, and often pig headed activist intellectual.' Assange said he was seeking a 'siren for [a] love affair, children and occasional criminal conspiracy' adding that he was 'directing a consuming, dangerous human rights project which is, as you might expect, male dominated' and added enigmatically: 'I am DANGER, ACHTUNG.' Among Assange's listed interests were the 'structure of reality' and 'chopping up human brains' – although he added the caveat '(neuroscience background)' lest the latter put off potential admirers. 'I like women from countries that have sustained political turmoil,' Assange wrote. 'Western culture seems to forge women that are valueless and inane. OK. Not only women!'"
Movies

Why Video Game Movie Adaptations Need New Respect 283

An anonymous reader writes "Hollywood has yet to find any video game property it is willing to treat with the same respect as J.R.R. Tolkien or J.K.Rowling, arguably still following the principles that led to the appalling Super Mario Bros. movie in 1992: 'A game lacks the complexity that a movie requires.' Yet a modern gaming masterpiece such as Mass Effect has the depth and breadth to deserve better treatment in the proposed trilogy. Is Hollywood again going to disrespect fans who, in this case, have as much right to see a good plot respected as the readers of Lord Of The Rings? This article discusses why and how Hollywood should grow up regarding these adaptations."
Image

Corporations Hiring Hooky Hunters Screenshot-sm 610

No longer satisfied with your crinkled doctor's note, a growing number of corporations are hiring "Hooky Detectives." Private investigator Rick Raymond says he's staked out bowling alleys, pro football games, weddings and even funerals looking for people using sick days. From the article: "Such techniques have become permissible at a time when workers are more likely to play hooky. Kronos, a workforce productivity firm in Chelmsford, Mass., recently found that 57 percent of salaried employees take sick days when they're not sick — almost a 20 percent increase from statistics gathered between 2006 and 2008."
Crime

Student Googles Himself, Finds He's Accused of Murder 184

University of Florida student Zachary Garcia was more than a little surprised to find out he was wanted for murder after Googling his name. It turns out the police were looking for a different man but had mistakenly used Garcia's photo. From the article: "Investigators originally released a driver's license photo of Zachary Garcia — spelled with an 'A' — but it was Zachery Garcia — spelled with an 'E'— who was charged in connection with the crime."
Medicine

Woman Develops Peanut Allergy After Lung Transplant 146

An anonymous reader writes "A woman in need of a lung transplant got her new lungs from someone with a peanut allergy who died of anaphylactic shock. Seven months after the surgery, the woman was at an organ transplant support group when she ate a peanut butter cookie and had a violent allergic reaction. So how had the woman's new lungs brought along a peanut allergy? A blog post dives into the medical details and explains that immune cells in the donated lungs couldn't have lived in the new body for long enough to cause the reaction... however, if they encountered an allergen (i.e. something peanuty) shortly after being transplanted, they could have trained the woman's native immune cells to respond."
Space

TheSpaceGame — Design Your Route To Jupiter 76

An anonymous reader writes "The Advanced Concepts Team of the European Space Agency is celebrating World Space Week (4-10 October 2010) with the release of 'The Space Game,' an online game for interplanetary trajectory design. The Space Game is an online crowdsourcing experiment where you are given the role of a mission designer to seek the best path to travel through space. The interactive game, coded in HTML5, challenges the players to devise fuel-efficient trajectories to various bodies of the Solar System via a user-friendly interface. The aim of the experiment is get people from all ages and backgrounds to come up with better strategies that can help improve the effectiveness of the current computer algorithms. As part of the events organized worldwide for Space Week, the first problem of the game is to reach Jupiter with the lowest amount of propellant. The best scores by 10 October will be displayed on the Advanced Concepts Team website and the three best designs will also receive some ESA prizes."
The Courts

Lineage II Addiction Lawsuit Makes It Past the EULA 267

We recently discussed a man who sued NCsoft for making Lineage II "too addictive" after he spent 20,000 hours over five years playing it. Now, several readers have pointed out that the lawsuit has progressed past its first major hurdle: the EULA. Quoting: "NC Interactive has responded the way most software companies and online services have for more than a decade: it argued that the claims are barred by its end-user license agreement, which in this case capped the company's liability to the amount Smallwood paid in fees over six months prior to his filing his complaint (or thereabouts). One portion of the EULA specifically stated that lawsuits could only be brought in Texas state court in Travis County, where NC Interactive is located. ... But the judge in this case, US District Judge Alan C. Kay, noted that both Texas and Hawaii law bar contract provisions that waive in advance the ability to make gross-negligence claims. He also declined to dismiss Smallwood's claims for negligence, defamation, and negligent infliction of emotional distress."
XBox (Games)

Microsoft Unveils New Xbox 360 Wireless Controller 150

adeelarshad82 writes "Microsoft unveiled a new wireless Xbox 360 controller, which features a revamped D-pad that transforms from a plus to a disc. The new D-pad was developed to address complaints from users. Other new features include: A, B, X, and Y buttons that are gray instead of the standard red, green, yellow, and blue; and a matte silver color. The controller includes 2.4-GHz wireless technology with a 30-foot range."
PC Games (Games)

Valve Trademarks 'DOTA' 141

An anonymous reader tips news that Valve Software has filed a trademark claim for the term "DOTA," fueling speculation that the company will soon reveal a new Defense of the Ancients game. Voice actor John St. John recently said he was recording for such a game in a post to Twitter. The tweet was subsequently deleted. Last year Valve hired 'Icefrog,' lead developer for the original DotA mod.
Education

NAMCO Takes Down Student Pac-man Project 218

An anonymous reader writes "The core of how people first learn to do stuff — programming, music, writing, etc. — is to imitate others. It's one of the best ways to learn. Apparently a bunch of students using MIT's educational Scratch programming language understand this. But not everyone else does. NAMCO Bandai sent a takedown notice to MIT because some kids had recreated Pac-man with Scratch. The NAMCO letter is pretty condescending as well, noting that it understands the educational purpose of Scratch, but 'part of their education should include concern for the intellectual property of others.'"
NASA

The Sun Unleashes Coronal Mass Ejection At Earth 220

astroengine writes "Yesterday morning, at 08:55 UT, NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory detected a C3-class flare erupt inside a sunspot cluster. 100,000 kilometers away, deep within the solar atmosphere (the corona), an extended magnetic field filled with cool plasma forming a dark ribbon across the face of the sun (a feature known as a 'filament') erupted at the exact same time. It seems very likely that both eruptions were connected after a powerful shock wave produced by the flare destabilized the filament, causing the eruption. A second solar observatory, the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory, then spotted a huge coronal mass ejection blast into space, straight in the direction of Earth. Solar physicists have calculated that this magnetic bubble filled with energetic particles should hit Earth on August 3, so look out for some intense aurorae — a solar storm is coming."

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